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America is Diseased: Mocking the Dying, Profiting off the Work of Uninsured Artists

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The first thing that needs to be said to the heartless boneheads who, at the last Republican presidential debate, cheered at the idea of letting a hypothetical 30-year-old cancer victim who hadn’t bought health insurance die, is that this is no mere  hypothetical situation. The second thing that needs to be said is that most such people in real life don’t “refuse to get” health insurance. They either cannot afford it (and their employer doesn’t provide it), or they are rejected by insurers because of pre-existing conditions.

 

Top Secret America and the Huge Blank Checks Of

We are given figures in the multi multi billions spent on the wars of choice and the so called 'homeland security', but there are huge amounts, in the multi billions, not known or labeled top secret and blacked out in government reports on the rapid growth of intelligence within government and the added private contractors and the costs of that growth. As pointed out in the 'PBS Frontline' report, below, what has it accomplish over all these years, especially as to the main mission after 9/11 and finally getting bin Laden, found through intelligence of a small group and carried out by a small group of 'special forces'.

Nothing to Celebrate: This Labor Day, don't Party, Organize and Raise Hell!

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

This faux workers’ holiday on Monday is not a day for celebrating for American workers.

 

The official unemployment rate, just released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm), showed unemployment in July to be 9.1%, which is exactly the same as the rate was in June, and which is an increase from the months in the spring. But that’s not even the real picture.

 

Return of the Malaise: Up to Our Asses in Alligators

 

By John Grant

 

It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.

Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.

Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.

Vets: Clean Fuel Standard Good

Vets: Clean Fuel Standard Good for National Security
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump


 

"Corporations are people", But From Where

60min had a replay of an earlier report on corporate tax havens last night.

Which now raises even more questions especially related to this now infamous remark and backed up by many of like minded ideology:

 

"Corporations are people, my friend."

Followed quickly by this:

 

"Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

Which people and where, are these corporate profits trickled down too?

While they renounce their corporate citizenship to dodge the corporate U.S. tax rates they stay on the trading boards of Wall Street as U.S. to be invested in.

What's Hampering Jobless Veterans

With veterans' unemployment rising, President Barack Obama is scheduled on Friday in a visit Washington's Navy Yard to announce initiatives to prepare vets for civilian jobs.

Those boomers born during WWII and in the few years directly after may or may not remember their childhood years, I do. What your parents, coming out of the military, no higher education needed to fight our wars, or moms coming out of the factories, quickly taught the jobs needed to work in by those who for many reasons couldn't serve in the military. You grew up into that working world that had quickly grown a prosperous middle class, and with usually small but regular raises and improved benefits and safety you were prospering better then your parents.

Murdoch - Blair and Blood For Oil

Did deference to Murdoch oil the wheels of invasion?

 

3 August 2011 - The Mail on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Tony Blair will face 'scathing criticism' of his role in the launch of the Iraq war when the report of the inquiry under Sir John Chilcot is published in the autumn.

On the same day, the Observer reported that the terms of an oil deal struck between BP and the Baghdad government will provide the company and its Chinese partner with a 'stranglehold' over the Iraqi economy. Even in the midst of his current multifarious travails, Rupert Murdoch may have managed a smile at that one.

 

Reading Nietzsche in Starbucks

By John Grant

When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.

The (T)'s Continue the "Screw You" to Soldiers/Vets and Families of

Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!

Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this:

 

Infrastructure and Alternative Energy = Good Strong Growth

No money for infrastructure? Get ready to crumble!

 

July 28: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, talks with TRMS guest host Melissa Harris-Perry about the litany of benefits that would come with more investment in US infrastructure and the certain disaster if Republicans succeed in slashing government spending.

 

DeJa-Vu: Long Past the Wars

A Country that is willing to 'Sacrifice', Not the U.S.!

As we've seen since Korea and especially from our long War of Choice, Vietnam and since! To easy to ignore the Veterans of and the few really concerned citizens, PTS, Agent Orange/Defoliant poisoning, Suicides, Gulf War Syndrome and so much more of the not so distant past and the now rising concerns of the present. Way to easy to lay blame on the Agency especially by congressional representatives, calling that conservatism, and the people, then to fund on the front end, knowing the long term results of our invasions and occupations will have costs similar to the ever growing defense costs, thus saving money long term than to Demand the Same Sacrifice demanded of the soldier, sailor and marine and their families, now over a decade of No Sacrifice and certainly No Demand For!

 

"Shared Sacrifice"??

"Shared Sacrifice"? WAR TAX NOW!!

 

Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans

 

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States Senate 112th Congress, First Session Hearing Schedule Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Veterans and the Veterans Administration have been short changed for decades now, costing much more in fighting to catch up then if funded properly at the beginning and into, and throughout, our wars of choice, instead it's easier for the people, their reps and some veterans to lay blame on the agency. Magnetic ribbons, wordy patriotic meme's, flag waving and historic costumes, lapel flag pins and purple heart bandages is Not Sacrificing after Demanding the Soldiers and their Families do!!

 

Tepublicans to Military Veterans: Shove It!!

WAR TAX NOW, and call it that
Some of this I posted last night, under a different subject heading, I'm adding more to that with a change in the VVA press release link.

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

Senator Coburn to Vietnam Veterans: Shove It!!

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

 

San Diego 'Stand Down': record 1,003 homeless vets

 

Stand Down serves record 1,003 homeless vets

 

Howard Simpson, a U.S. Army veteran, shows off a 1969 picture from Life magazine that shows him standing behind entertainer Bob Hope in Vietnam. At right is Garrett Miller, of the U.S. Navy, who helped Simpson, a former sergeant, shop for new clothes at Stand Down. — Peggy Peattie

July 18, 2011 - A record 1,003 homeless veterans in search of help getting off the streets attended the 24th annual Stand Down event over the weekend.

'Jobless veterans, US national disgrace'

I Demand a War Tax and call it that, it's been over a decade and counting of No Sacrifice by the Country as we demanded Sacrifice of our Soldiers and their Families, with multiple tours in two occupation theaters!

Those of us who were born during or in the years shortly after World War II grew into what our grand parents and parents with the help of our Government investments were building, joining in as we joined the workforce professions to build for our children, from the needed education professions to the skilled trades once professions.

The Paradox of Progress

  Months ago, I attended David Swanson’s book signing in Baltimore to purchase his remarkable work, War is a Lie, and to hear Swanson, Debra Sweet, and Andy Worthington speak. During the question-and-answer period, a woman stood and introduced herself. Speaking beautifully, softly, and passionately, she gestured, pointing to lighting in the room, laptops, and cell phones. She said something like this: “It’s cold outside, but the room temperature is warm.  So many here have computers, cell phones, technology….” She paused and, then, continued, “Are people willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Blowing It: Democrats, Unable to Be a Party of the People, are Sinking Themselves

By Dave Lindorff

The smoking ruin that is the the Obama White House, and the rotting corpse that is the Democratic Party, have, incredibly, together been boxed into a corner by, of all things, the certifiably insane Republican Party.

This amazing situation has resulted not through any brilliant strategy on the part of the Republicans, but by the self-inflicted wounds of the Democrats.

"Stand Down," 60min. Revisits

 

 

Homeless veterans: Trying to find help and hope

 

July 10, 2011 - This story was first published Oct. 17, 2010. It was updated on June 21, 2011.

One weekend a year, nearly a thousand military veterans assemble in a camp in San Diego. What brings them is what they have in common: they're all homeless. The vets gather for something called "Stand Down," started in 1988 by a soldier turned psychologist named Jon Nachison.

Then, it was an emergency response to homelessness among Vietnam vets but, all these years later, Nachison is welcoming the generation from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Voodo Economics circa 2011: The Magic of BKS Numerology Roils Markets and also Government Policy-Making

By Dave Lindorff

It is part of America’s state religion, the Free Market fundamentalist religion that is accepted as gospel by all leading politicians, by the “brain trust” that sets goverrnment economic policy, and by the supposedly hard-nosed analysts who convince American investors where to put their money, that “markets know best.”

How then to explain the panicked reaction of investors and markets to the Labor Department’s monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the latest monthly jobs and unemployment figures?

Why Are Veterans Issues Off The Table?

Frankly that's very easy to answer, the country refuses to demand it's own sacrifice the greater majority cheer on but don't serve in or have direct connection to, especially the political party claiming their strength on "National Security" and it's the total opposite of what's being argued as to this debt ceiling and the growing deficit itself, remember these two present conflicts were kept off the books and fought on borrowed financing until put back on the books and our spending by the present administration. All those costs include the no bid contracts of the growing private armies as well as the numerous other private contractors serving a bottom line and not the country.

Family Feud: Blacks Battle Blacks over Criticism of Obama

By Linn Washington, Jr.

So, some black folks are bashing Princeton Professor Cornell West for his sharply phrased critiques of President Barack Obama’s failure to specifically address crisis- proportion problems in a long-suffering segment of American society: the black community.

Black supporters of the first African-American president echo the rationale advanced by Obama himself that he is the president of all Americans so addressing issues specific to African-American would be inappropriate.

However, that view side-steps the critical issue of the very American right to criticize a U.S. President.

Compounding the First Amendment criticism issue is the reality that Obama has addressed issues important to specific groups, including gays and women. He has even been addressing the issues of his political adversaries, the Republicans, like his embracing their demands for deficit reducing austerity by slashing services to the most needy.

America is a Sick Country

By Dave Lindorff

In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.

The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.

As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.

July 4th - Celebrations Cannot Hide Damaged Democracy

By Linn Washington, Jr.

Given the stark desperation stalking so many communities around an America oozing from miseries embedded in the stagnant economy, it’s almost an inane exercise to contemplate the state-of-democracy in this nation on July 4th -– Independence Day.

All of the flag waving, fireworks and fun of this national holiday can’t mask the disturbing fact that democracy in America is under unprecedented onslaught from forces intent on engaging in economic exploitation comparable to the colonial crown domination that compelled Americans to rebel against England over two hundred years ago.

Examples of this onslaught abound with one of the most pronounced being federal and state level elected officials – overwhelming Republican – bludgeoning and eliminating benefits that have aided the middle class and the poor, in the name of budget balancing austerity, while simultaneously battling to protect the profits and assets of the wealthy.

Boeing Overcharging?, Hawks Yawn!

A 'Patriotic' U.S. company ripping off the Army and the American Tax Payers, and military procurement officers allowing it to happen, knowing many will go to work for these defense contractors after their service, especially with two long occupations still ongoing, say it ain't so!

 

June 14th Economic Rebellion Update – This Is What Decentralized Resistance Looks Like

 What Are You Going To Do On June 14th to Rebel Against Economic Tyranny?Exciting times over here, to say the least! The June 14th Flag Day Rebellion against economic tyranny is growing much stronger and more rapidly than anticipated. As a small part of a decentralized movement, it’s hard to measure the overall impact, but my email inbox is exploding with support and interest. This movement is definitely succeeding in uniting people from all over the political spectrum. Hardcore progressives and libertarians have found common cause. Liberals who are sick of “spineless Democrats.” Conservatives who have had enough of “crony-capitalist and imperial Republicans.” Apolitical people who are sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to get by. The foreclosed upon. The unemployed. People desperately surviving off of food stamps.

Double-Dip Recession: It Can't Happen...But It's Happening

By Dave Lindorff

It was just as recently as a year ago that the authorities in politics, business and academe were stating boldly and confidently that the nation's economy was on the mend, and that there was no chance of a backslide into recession again.

Take Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji who are, respectively, co-founder and chief operating officer and co-founder and chief research officer of ECRI, the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

"The good news is that the much-feared double-dip recession is not going to happen," they said on CNN on Oct. 28, last year. "After completing an exhaustive review of key drivers of the business cycle, ranging from credit to inventories and measures of labor market conditions, we can forecast with confidence that the economy will avoid a double dip."

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